Emma Fielden ‘Iota’ @ Gallery Funaki

26 11 2015

It was such an absolute pleasure to finally see Emma Fielden‘s work in person in Iota‘ at Gallery Funaki.

Wow. Just wow.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

“At the centre of my practice is the notion of infinity. The ideas that any line drawn is a mere portion of its infinite potential, and that a mark made is a part within a whole, are fundamental beginnings in my work, which I explore through drawing and objects, in various materials and techniques.” EF, 2015

I was exceptionally interested in seeing the handwritten ‘Infinite‘ drawings, that I’d responded to (incredibly strongly) via images from her Sydney exhibition earlier this year. Even more amazing than I expected.

For some reason I thought that the drawings were built up of little circles; but now realise that it is the number 3 repeated … in a secular meditation on the repeating decimal representation of 1/3 … and being in a triptych, together the three complete to a singular ‘one’.

Make sure you read Emma’s own explanation on her website – which of course, as per usual, I only read after writing the above(!): “The work references devotional religious acts and is itself a devotional act.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

The brooches and vessels were a revelation. And smaller than I expected; in the good way, for I like smaller things.

If you visit, please make sure you ask for her technique to be explained. While the pieces are most definitely beautiful in their own right, I believe understanding their construction … the intense precision freedom involved … can only add to their appeal.

Initially I was a wondering if perhaps a perfectly circular (or other geometric) edge shape would align and reflect with the overall concept of infinity … for somehow I have a view, not unlike our ancient and medieval forefathers, that infinite must mean perfect. Perhaps also because I saw perfect geometry in her other Infinity pieces. However I let go of that requirement when I was told that Emma actually makes her own ingots and shapes then to make the plate for the brooches, in many/most cases permitting the edges to form as they choose … another practice I relate to.

I really did want to take some home, especially ‘The Jewel (after James Wright)‘ and the one that looks like an opened clam. Do have a look at the detailed photographs … you can see how the surface detail is formed by repeated engraving. They are a marvel.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

And vessels! There should be more vessels in the world I tell you.

Axis Mundi is also an important component of the exhibition. I think perhaps my aversion to shiny-shiny interrupted my contemplation … the mirror is important, for it reflects the construction into an infinity … the vision is coherent, the installation takes hours and hours (nay, days!). Of course the mirror makes total sense … though I have a thing about mirrors … (this is usually where one says ‘it’s not you, it’s me’).

It’s pretty obvious I respond strongly to Emma’s work … the reflections on the infinite … the implicit and intuitive mathematical fundamentals … the devotion … the mediation, obsession, attention to detail, commitment … quiet determination … there is an exceptional clarity that I can only wish for.

Emma Fielden ‘Iota‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 5th December 2015.

‘Electric’ @ Craft

14 09 2015

It doesn’t happen often that I wander into an exhibition space not knowing what’s on there. Though it happened this weekend, when I was wandering Flinders Lane and thought to visit Craft, even though I couldn’t for the life of me remember what was showing.

Electric‘ is showing and it was something of a revelation.

installation photograph

installation photograph

Participating artists:

  • Alterfact (Ben Landau and Lucile Sciallano) [website]
  • Mark Edgoose [website]
  • Douglas McManus
  • Bin Dixon-Ward [website] with Jon Osbourne

Exhibition media: “Through a combination of artists, materials and ways of making Electric maps the collaboration of the handmade with digital technology. Crafted objects across metals, plastics, ceramics and textiles engage the body in participatory gallery experiences with installations referencing interaction, wearability and function.

installation photograph

installation photograph; Alterfact

The exhibition may look sparse, but each of the four exhibits are amazing.

My favourite were the pieces by Alterfact (image above), which were 3D printed from Southern Ice Porcelain. Absolutely gorgeous! I wanted to take some home, but the ones I really wanted were all already sold. I especially liked the group that had some wiggly lines and were slightly wonky … as though they’ve been made from yarn that’s been worked and used and reused over and over again … perhaps the machine has a small kniption; they’re beautiful in their imperfection.

installation photograph; Douglas McManus

installation photograph; Douglas McManus

Make sure you read the exhibition page on Craft’s site, as it has a lot of detail from each artist.

There’s a lot to think about with the combination of technologies and making … it’s something I’ve been wondering about for a little while now, even though I haven’t quite figured out how I feel about it and what it means for ‘hand made’…

Electric‘ is at Craft until 3rd October 2015.

‘Go, said the bird’ @ fortyfive downstairs

13 09 2015

Exhibition-visiting Saturday continued with a visit to fortyfive downstairs for two exhibitions. The first is ‘Go, said the bird‘.

Participating artists: Marcos Guzman, Courtney Jackson [instagram], Inari Kiuru [site], Shaun Tan [website].

photograph taken with artist permission

photograph taken with artist permission

Exhibition media:
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.”
T. S. Eliot, 1935
An extract from Burnt Norton (Quartet One), Four Quartets

Go, said the bird borrows its title from a poem by T.S. Eliot. The exhibition presents the work of four artists who examine the ambiguous nature of time through images, objects and jewellery.

photograph with artist permission

photograph with artist permission

As expected, I was completely enamored with Inari’s work … in fact, this was a grouping of objects, jewellery, and photographs from the last eight years. Her large objects are stunning; her fine-line work is precise and almost afraid; the moth pieces are my favourites … but new favourites are the black brooches ‘Clay and rock turning into steel‘ (2015).

photograph with artist permission

photograph with artist permission

Shaun’s large-scale paintings and Marcos’s playful jewellery provide colourful counterpoints to Inari and Courtney’s pieces; Inari’s are dark and broody; Courtney’s intricate, delicate, and fragile.

[There were quite a few visitors at the time I was there, so it wasn’t easy to get photographs of all the work; I’m not keen on publishing images with people in them … in case they should be somewhere else. Worse still though, my little camera phone was being temperamental with light, so many turned out overexposed and blurred. A random-though-related thought: I wonder if perhaps Courtney’s work could have benefited from a coloured background, even if only slightly tinted, to help it stand out (I’m no expert curator mind! just an idea)?]

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

Check out the exhibition facebook page for more photographs.

Sorry, I was only able to visit this on its last day … ‘Go, said the bird‘ was part of Radiant Pavilion and was at fortyfive downstairs until 12th September 2015.

Anna Davern ‘The Golden Land of the Sunny South’ @ e.g.etal

12 09 2015

What a delight! A completely enjoyable and engaging delight.

Anna Davern has outdone her amazing self in her latest exhibition, ‘The Golden Land of the Sunny South‘ at e.g.etal.

I’m sure regular readers have probably already visited, or witnessed the development of the work and the exhibition on various social media platforms …

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

I was just a little bummed that I couldn’t work the mechanisms myself (the gallery staff do that), but I can totally understand why that’s the case.

It’s entirely possible I squealed with delight … just a little bit. I remember someone writing somewhere (perhaps on Instagram?) that it was fantastic that ‘kittens are our evil overlords’ (that’s what my mind has put together anyway)… Elizabethan overlords at that! The ‘covert operators’, pretending to be evil kittens, were the funniest.

Almost all pieces were objects, with some sporting detachable jewellery pieces such as earrings and brooches.

What a feat. What an imagination.

Anna Davern ‘The Golden Land of the Sunny South‘ is part of Radiant Pavilion has been extended at e.g.etal until 19th September 2015.

See also:

‘Vessel – Permeable Subject’ @ Hill of Content Bookshop

7 09 2015

As I’m sure most readers have, I’ve been watching the social media of Radiant Pavilion ‘central’ and individual artists as the event approached. I was anticipating many of the shows, including wanting to see the objects of Melissa Cameron and Jill Hermans in ‘Vessel – Permeable Subject‘ in the window at Hill of Content Bookshop.

I especially like the connection of the materials, significantly being paper (a material I love), with their chosen site (a bookshop is full of paper). Fabulous thinking.



Exhibition media: “[This] is an installation of contemporary objects and jewellery in paper and metal. Artists Melissa Cameron and Jill Hermans will explore the symbolic meanings of the term vessel through the creation of permeable objects.
Through sharing thoughts, drawings and objects, a grouping of distinctive yet interrelated artworks will emerge, themselves creating an intimate meditation on the formal contrasts and the fluid connections between the artists, their practices and the unique installation space, the Hill of Content Bookshop.

I don’t know why it still happens, but I can sometimes be surprised by scale – how I imagine pieces from images is totally wrong! To be fair, Jill’s objects are of various sizes, but (for no real reason) I didn’t expect how large some would be.



I fell a little bit in love with Jill’s pieces, especially the smallest ones … the little crucible shape reminding me of the torment and joy of melting metal. I may need to ask one to come home with me.

I must offer my sincere apologies to Melissa – it seems that I failed to capture one decent image of her works (if they weren’t out of focus they had my face in the window reflection; no-one wants that). I’m so sorry. It is solely my fault in camera operation; after visiting a bzillion exhibitions I was totally off my game.

Please be sure you all go to Melissa’s blog to see her objects, made with such care and empathy with the materials. There is so much to process, with the paper being made from military uniforms (‘combat paper‘) used to create forms that remind me of artillery casings … it’s almost heartbreaking to make connections to current world events (I feel a bit oversensitive to the news at the moment).

It’s probably obvious, I was taken with this exhibition … the subversion and twisting of the vessel, which should be able to hold something, into an object through which the contents will fall or seep.

Vessel – Permeable Subject‘ is in the window of Hill of Contents bookshop until 15th September 2015.

‘Around The Table’ @ First Site Gallery

5 09 2015

Alongside ‘Wondernamel‘ at First Site Gallery is ‘Around The Table‘ … a gorgeous group of metalworking and ceramic pieces.

The table in the first image below was particularly fabulous.

  • I think the small sterling silver object on the left is by Pam Camille
  • the gorgeous blackened two-piece object is by Nell Grant
  • and I think the collection of porcelain and copper objects on the back table is by Rebecca Smith
  • [The photographs I took with the work-list references were overexposed due to lighting, so I have had to go by memory – please correct if you know I’ve got something a bit wrong]
photograph with permission

photograph with permission

Participating artists:

  • Pam Camille , Tao Delves , Eva Giannoulidis
  • Nell Grant , Cara Johnson , Naasicaa Jade Larsen
  • Sharon McEntee , Lucy Mactier [tumblr] , Belinda Michael
  • Samantha O’Farrell [website] , Julia Obermaier , Rebecca Smith
  • Michelle Stewart , See-Mun Soo , Ann Welton
photograph with permission

photograph with permission

Check out the First Site facebook page for more photographs.

Sorry, I was only able to visit this on its last day … ‘Around the Table‘ was part of Radiant Pavilion and was at The First Site Gallery until 4th September 2015.

[I think this may be an annual exhibition, the inaugural one being last year; sadly I couldn’t visit it, but I hope these continue in coming years.]

‘Victorian Craft Award’ @ 45downstairs

2 08 2015

Following on from my visit to the Victorian Craft Award‘ at Craft, I popped into the continued exhibition at 45downstairs.

I’ve said a million times, I love this space for its brightness and that window.

exhibition at 45downstairs

exhibition at 45downstairs

More textile works are here than were at Craft … which I was glad to see, as I was beginning to wonder about their inclusion. The grouping in the first (smaller) room were beautifully curated; they look amazing together, being similar in their colourings.

exhibition at 45downstairs

exhibition at 45downstairs

I took a number of photographs, but I think in my haste I failed to get the focus right. Grrr.

My absolute run-away favourite of this group was the large pastel-coloured ceramic ‘Sometimes Yes‘ by Kate Jones (front and centre in the top image); and therefore I was exceptionally pleased she won the ceramic award.

A close second was the wall installation ‘Domestic Rail‘ by Mark Edgoose; and more work by Lindy McSwan’s ‘Take Me Back to Blue Rag Range‘.

Victorian Craft Award‘ is at Craft and other venues until 15th August 2015 … quick quick, that’s only two weeks!